‘The Taoiseach told the public one day that the decision to appoint McNulty was made by Heather  Humphreys (above); the next day that he alone was responsible.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: ‘The big issue is that there are standards that should apply to every office-holder’

Donation: the late Seamus Heaney and his wife, Marie, at the National Library of Ireland in 2011, when he gave his archive to the institution. Bryan O’Brien

These precious institutions came from a 19th-century optimism about the spread of literacy and enlightenment. Now nobody with any (...)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys who refused to answer questions in the Seanad about  Mr McNulty’s appointment.

Analysis: The sheer extent to which old politics has been given a new life is remarkable

‘Last year, the outgoing financial regulator Matthew Elderfield warned that the State still has no adequate system for tackling financial offences’. Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: Ireland is still one of the best little countries in the world in which to be a shyster

We might think of him as a seanchaí who had come down from a mountain and been transplanted to Dublin with his stories intact, but(...)

Members of  King of Scots Robert the Bruce Society, hold the Scottish flags as they prepare to vote in the Scottish independence referendum   in Loch Lomond. “The Scots have already sent a message: the current political settlement of strong oligarchies and weak democracies cannot stand.”   (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The electorate has already sent a message: the current political settlement of strong oligarchies and weak democracies cannot stan(...)

Jaw-dropping: Lisa Dwan interprets Beckett

Lisa Dwan gives astonishing performances of ‘Not I’, ‘Footfalls’ and ‘Rockaby’

Ian Paisley at a rally on Royal Avenue outside Belfast City Hall in 1974. “Paisley the politician defeated Paisley the preacher.” Photograph: Trevor McBride

Bigoted yet brilliant, Paisley had to move away from a world of absolutes

‘This kind of national pride is hard work. You have to decide what are the things your nation should be proud of and how it is going to achieve them in reality.’  Above, Yes supporters’ flags are displayed besides a block of flats on Leith Walk in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Opinion: ‘National freedom isn’t another word for nothing left to lose. It’s another word for no one left to blame – no one, that(...)

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